Are you fixated on the number on the scale? You’re not alone; it’s a common issue. Many people focus more on the number rather than what their body is comprised of.
We get told what we should weigh without any consideration for our body’s composition and are often made to feel fat or unhealthy purely by the number we see when we step on the scale.
This number does not reflect your true health.
You shouldn’t take it into consideration when reflecting on where you need to improve to make yourself healthier.
Your health is determined by a variety of factors. Your health and how you physically and mentally feel is greatly impacted by your body composition. Your body composition is the measure of how much muscle mass, water, bones/tissues, and fat your body has. You could be thin by the number on the scale but “fat”, or unhealthy, based on what type of tissues are inside you. Your body mass index may be high, but if you’re exercising regularly that weight is likely healthy muscle tissue. Dieting and lowering your weight would only cause your health to decline.
The number on the scale getting lower isn’t always a good thing. The scale won’t tell you what kinds of tissue you’re losing as that number goes down. You could be losing weight but hurting your health by losing muscle and not fat. Muscle is also denser and easily lost when compared to fat, which can skew the number on the scale. When you go on severe diets, your body actually burns muscle first. This leaves behind all the fatty tissue, which leaves you unhealthy and weak.
Knowing whether you’re healthy is up to what you are made of: higher muscle content and a healthy amount of fatty tissue. How do you learn what your body is made up of? Body composition testing is the best way to test for what components make up your body.
Body composition testing is done through quite a few different methods. DEXA Scans, hydrostatic weighing, the caliper method, and BIA scales are all different methods with pros and cons. However, the goal of these tests is all the same: figuring out what your body is comprised of.
A body composition test measures multiple different parts of your body that would affect your weight: muscle tissue, fat, bones, and water weight. Muscle tissue and water weight aren’t the things you want to lower. Muscle tissue is great, as it gives you strength. The more muscle mass you have in your weight, the healthier you are.
Water weight is something you don’t want to limit. Hydration is extremely important to keeping you healthy, and extra water in your body often doesn’t negatively affect your health. It’s recommended that you drink around 3-5 liters of water daily.
Bone weight is something that you can’t control. This weight doesn’t affect your body’s overall health. Fat content, along with muscle mass, is the main thing that a body composition will test for. High fat content and low muscle tissue will signal that you should make some lifestyle changes to be the healthiest you can be.
Just following the number on your scale will not accurately tell you if you are gaining fat or losing muscle. It is often difficult to see these changes on the scale, but you can see them in your body composition. You want a high body density, not high body fat percentage. Getting consistent body composition tests during these lifestyle changes will allow you to track your body’s actual progress towards healthiness, rather than just watching a number get lower.
There are a few methods to determine your body composition, since you cannot take out your fat, muscle, and water to weigh them each individually.
However you choose to monitor your body composition, remember to focus on what is inside of you rather than the scale.
Interested in the SECA body composition test? Call 951-461-3021 to get in contact with one of the specialists at An Optimal You. We offer this test to patients without a consultation to make it easier for more people to make proper improvements to their health. Your body’s health is important, so make sure you’re making the right changes to become healthy and happy in your own skin.